Thursday, 4 June 2015

[Today] NAC needs to respond to the times

While I thank the National Arts Council for its letter “Graphic novel breached NAC funding guidelines” (June 3), the response was puzzling.
If, as reported, the materials submitted for the grant application were an accurate representation of the final work, why not reject the application instead of approving it and dispensing an initial S$6,400? If Mr Sonny Liew’s work has potentially subversive material to undermine the legitimacy of the Government and its public institutions, the NAC must be alarmed that the book has sold out at various bookshops, with a reprint underway.
Perhaps the NAC needs to respond to the times and public acceptance, and unshackle itself from attitudes that keep it from fulfilling its mandate for the arts. The NAC should review its funding guidelines to ensure works of merit by reputable artists and publishers get the help they deserve.